Thailand is definitely an interesting country. Rules aren't quite the same as in the UK or Australia so a few things were a little scary/different, but we managed to stay out of trouble ... which is always good. We spent the days leading up to the race doing some training, acclimatising to the insane heat and humidity (including the bath like water) and running from dogs. We did all pretty successfully I might add.
We had an early start on race day as the military were closing off the roads. We headed 2km down the road to where the race venue was, to put our things in transition and warm up. I was getting pretty excited for the race and everything that I normally do before a race I'd managed to complete, so I was feeling fresh and raring to go.
We were called up to the start and being number 43 out of 48 I didn't get much choice of where to position myself.
So the horn sounded and we were off. The start was decent and immediately got into some clear water and relatively near the front of the field, but as we got to the first buoy I got kicked around a bit and slipped back a few places as I normally do. I tried so hard to hang onto the pack, which I could see, but I was just 10-15 seconds off them which meant getting on the bike I was in a small group of 5 with some pretty poor riders. Roll throughs were painful to watch, the speed was slow and their skills were interesting to say the least, one crashed right in front of me on a rough bit of road. I have no idea how I managed to stay upright! I did at one point try to bridge the gap on my own, but I had to do this from the first pedal stroke of the bike leg so it was too late. Me against a pack of 15 or so strong riders ... it just isn't going to happen. I decided to try and get my group to work together and then see what I can do on the run.
By the time we got onto the run the gap was big, at least two minutes, which really made my job of chasing people down nearly impossible. Thankfully I did manage to catch a handful of athletes, but not what I would have hoped for. I crossed the line feeling quite exhausted, but in the end I finished 20th.
My target was top half, which I achieved, ideally to be within points which was top 20 so I did meet my target ... to an extent. To get points you have to be within 5% of the first finisher's time, which sadly I wasn’t. But looking back at the run splits if I had been with that main pack the result would have been massively different, so that's a little frustrating. It’s always been my swim that lets me down, but being where I am in Perth and training with the Eclipse team, I know it will only be a matter of time before this improves.
I’d say I’m satisfied with the result and the performance and can return home pretty pleased that I’ve raced well in my first Asian Continental Cup. I can’t thank the Eclipse Performance Centre and Triathlon Australia enough for the opportunities they've given me.
I am so grateful to my sponsors Pedal Potential, Sam Farmer, Zone 3, Vorgee and Rocktape for their continued support which enables me to race, train and do what I do.
Next up for me? Immediately it's a week or two of no training. I’ve been training and racing continuously since this time last year so my body needs a little rest before I start the next part of my season. After that I'll be training hard leading up to my trip back to England where I will cross over to Europe to do some racing in June/July.
For now, I think I’ll enjoy the beach a little.
Thanks for reading.
All the best,